Dr. Russ Fasolino: Expulsion is unethical
April 1, 2014
This editorial is regarding the May 31 article about the Steamboat Springs School District superintendent and School Board expelling a 17-year-old senior with a 3.8 GPA for having marijuana in her car. I think the vast majority of Colorado residents have made it clear that we are tired of young lives being ruined over marijuana. However, this injustice seems to be the very intent of Superintendent Brad Meeks and the school board.
I understand the student made a mistake. Does this mean she should be denied the opportunity to graduate from high school and go on to college, which apparently was her dream? This was not the recommendation of Judge Mary Lynn James, who oversaw the expulsion hearing. If she is living with her aunt and uncle, it sounds as if she grew up in a dysfunctional situation. Yet she has a 3.8 GPA. Shouldn't we be encouraging her to continue "pulling herself up by her bootstraps" by pursuing her academic career instead of making it impossible?
It feels as if this superintendent and School Board is making an example of her. OK, I get it. However, to threaten a child with destroying her future dreams is just plain wrong. It is unethical, immoral and mean spirited.
Even if the School Board has proof of her intent to sell marijuana to her friends, which it seems they don't, the punishment would still vastly outweigh the crime. I understand that I don't know all the facts, but this stinks of a bully beating up on a little kid. It makes me sick. I can assure you I will not be voting in favor of any future funding for the schools as long as this current board is in power.
It seems the only adults here concerned with this child's future are her attorneys, Grant Bursek and Clark Davidson, who have taken on this lengthy case in exchange for the girl volunteering hours for the Steamboat Arts Council. Thank God there's some good guys left. I have adult children who have graduated from our schools, and I can't say enough about the excellence of our teachers. But thankfully, my kids are grown and don't have to face the tyranny of this current school administration should they get into trouble.
I encourage my fellow Steamboat residents to demand our superintendent and school board stop intimidating our children and give this girl back her future.
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Dr. Russ Fasolino